Life is unpredictable. Sometimes it can hit you where it hurts, right in the wallet.
I’m thankful to have a go-to group of CEOs I can reach out to when looking for guidance in my business. Sometimes three or four of us will get together for drinks at a local bar and bounce strategy off each other. We cover every topic: workplace environment, how our favorite teams are playing this season, future investments, and what’s going on with our kids.
Even though we’re the CEOs of companies across the country, we bond over small and large mistakes we’ve made over the years. It may sound alarming that CEOs are making mistakes, but we’re all human. It’s the mistakes we’ve made that we’ve learned and grown the most from.
The Four Agreements is a book written by Don Miquel Ruiz in 1997. It outlines a practice you can follow in your personal life, but I’ve adapted the core values and altered them to fit into my life and this is why I’m sharing them on my blog.
The Four Agreements for Business
1. Be impeccable with your word
Simply stated: deliver on what you offered. Does your company say they will deliver things on time? Maybe you’ve promised the best customer service.
Make. It. Happen.
If you stick to what you’ve said in the past, you earn a higher level of respect and trust in the office. Continue to use excuses on why things “can’t happen” and you dig yourself into a hole where people question your work or your products.
One of the biggest ways you can deliver is to “inspect what you expect to get respect.”
This process takes extra time and effort but sticking to your word in the business world is the honorable thing to do.
2. Do not take things personally
We’ve all heard it before… 99 people could tell us we did an amazing job on something, but it’s the one negative comment that sticks with us. Changing your mindset is one of the hardest things to do but once you alter it, your brain defogs, and the problem is no longer personal. It’s strategic.
As the CEO of a company or entrepreneur of your own business, it’s easy to get annoyed with people when a task isn’t done correctly, or there’s a problem in the office. The problem was likely going to occur anyway, that individual just happened to be the person attached to it. You’ll create a more harmonious work life for you and your peers when you’re able to separate the problem from the person.
When it comes to taking things personally, it’s important to give a little and get a little. Any person in any position can get offended and sit on their high horse, or they can remind themselves that they are a part of a process and not every process is easy.
3. Don’t make assumptions
Assuming you know something, but don’t is the biggest pitfall of any person in business. There’s a reason why the first three letters in the word spell out “ass.” In many cases when a person assumes, they move on from the problem before it’s ever officially fixed. The biggest way to alter this harmful habit is to go back and assess before moving on.
Fixing a problem before it occurs is a powerful superpower. Only a few people truly have that skill. If you inspect instead of assuming, you’re golden.
4. Always do your best
It’s cliché, but still nice to hear. Follow this list and you’re all set!
– Stop going through things just to check boxes in your daily life.
-Wake up every day and do a mental check in of what you expect from yourself.
-Write down one goal you want to accomplish each day.
No matter how big or small your business is, there’s likely someone who’s going through a similar experience. Befriend this person. You can talk certain ideas, or problems out with them and introduce them to the four agreements. In the end, you can find more freedom in your business with a little help from these four simple steps.